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Almirola in at Richard Petty Motorsports

While today's signing takes care of the former issue, no new sponsorship has been announced for the #43 although Almirola is expected to have sponsorship from Smithfield Food and the US Air Force.

The announcement of Almirola's appointment is another blow to David Ragan, who is still seeking a replacement drive after himself being ousted from Roush Fenway at the end of 2011. Ragan is now thought to be one of the contenders to take over Almirola's seat in the #88 in the Nationwide Series, although the current favourite for the seat is believed to be Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt.

In other Nationwide series news, it was announced on Tuesday that Kasey Kahne will drive in 15 races in the #38 Turner Motorsports car, with rookie Brad Sweet taking the wheel for the remaining 18 races of the 2012 season.

"Turner Motorsports is a first-class organization with equipment capable of contending for wins week in and week out," a news release quoted Sweet as saying. "I don't think I could be in a better position to take the next step in my racing career."




Related Pictures

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Aric Almirola, Steve Wallace, Danica Patrick, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and  Mike Wallace in a multiple-car wreck on the final lap of the Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, July 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, lead Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 88 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. [Picture Credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola in the JR Motorsports #88 garage during testing at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola climbing out of his car at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 8, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series O`Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position during Service King qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Clorox Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, October 30, 2015 for Sunday`s first round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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